Abbott Elementary: Cast on Jimmy Kimmel Emmys Controversy

Cast on Jimmy Kimmel Emmys Controversy:  “Disrespect”

Sheryl Lee Ralph says the late-night host should have moved off stage while creator Quinta Brunson accepted her writing honor.


Abbott Elementary creator and star Quinta Brunson did not say much to reporters about Jimmy Kimmel lying at her feet during her Emmys acceptance speech. Her co-star and fellow Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph, however, said she wasn’t pleased.

As part of a comedy bit during the awards, fellow presenter Will Arnett dragged Kimmel out on stage prior to announcing Brunson as the winner for best writing for a comedy series. As Brunson accepted the honor, Kimmel continued to lie on stage, not moving except to give Brunson a thumbs up. The bit drew criticism from viewers, who called it disrespectful to Brunson and intruding on her moment at the Emmys.

Co-star Lisa Ann Walter said she thought the bit played as funny inside the Microsoft Theater, but Ralph said she was “confused” at first, then not happy.

“I didn’t know what was going on. I was like, I wish he’d just get up off the ground,” Ralph said. “Then I realized it was Jimmy, and I was like, Ooh, the disrespect. I love Jimmy Kimmel, but I’m sorry. I told him to his face, and he understood.”

The cast also said they enjoyed returning to work Tuesday following Ralph’s and Brunson’s Emmy wins — though Walter joked she “forgot how to act” after the high of Monday night.

“It was the greatest feeling in the world to get back [on set],” said Chris Perfetti, who plays Jacob. “We had a table read, and it was the perfect way to come down after that. There was nowhere else I wanted to be.”

Added Tyler James Williams, who plays Gregory, “We had to celebrate with the crew, too. It’s just as much their show as it is ours.”